statesman news service
BEHRAMPORE, 25 JUNE: Both the Congress and the Left Front have called a 12 hour-bandh to be observed tomorrow at Barwan and Khargram police station areas in Murshidabad district in protest against perceived police inaction in handling the rape and murder cases reported a few days ago.
Congress party delegates led by MP Adhir Chowdhury today visited Kharjuna area of Barwan where a 32 year-old housewife was allegedly raped and murdered by a local youth on 23 June.
Amid anger over the incident, district police had added fuel to the fire by proclaiming that the victim had an illicit relationship with the murder suspect and the allegation of rape prior to her murder was baseless.
Expressing solidarity with housewives of Kharjuna, who staged a protest over the issue, Mr Chowdhury today demanded an apology from the SP, Murshidabad, Dr Humayun Kabir. The SP had gone to the spot to make an inquiry on the day of the incident of alleged rape and murder.
“We have called a bandh tomorrow at Barwan. Police have laid the slur of an illicit relationship on the rape victim in order to exclude the allegation of rape from police records. If the SP refuses to apologise to the victim&’s family and aggrieved villagers, a defamation suit will be filed against him,” Mr Chowdhury, also the district Congress chief and minister of state for railways, said. 
A tribal woman from Birbhum was also reportedly raped at Bahira village near Khargram police station on 22 June and the CPI-M has called a bandh in the area over the issue tomorrow.
The CPI-M district leadership said the bandh the party had called in the Khargram area was in protest against police inaction. The CPI-M activists demanded immediate arrest of the culprits who raped a tribal woman in daylight.
The allegation of police inaction does not stand because in every case called in question the suspects were arrested after inquiry, SP Humayun Kabir said, meanwhile.